Tennessee Medical Cannabis Bill – Committee Hearing 12/1/2015

Tennessee Senate Bill 1248, sponsored by Sen. Steve Dickerson (R-Nashville, anesthesiologist), was the recent subject of the Senate Health and Welfare Committee Summer Study on December 1, 2015.  This bill would legalize medical cannabis for limited debilitating medical conditions.  The Committee heard testimony from many opponents and supporters of the bill.  The following is a video of the full hearing.  Testimony from supporters Meg Sanders (CEO – Mindful), Dr. Kim Vera (Pediatric Cardiologist – VUMC), Allison Barker Watson (former Assistant District Attorney – 13th Judicial District), and Professor Robert Mikos (Vanderbilt School of Law) begins at 1:33:20.

Senate Health and Welfare Committee Summer Study, SB1248, 12/1/2015

A Ray of Hope

For nearly two years, we've followed the story of Brandon Gilbert and his 
family's search to have cannabis-based treatment for his son's seizures.  

Here is Brandon's first update since his son began taking Charlotte's Web oil in 
mid-March. Don't miss this inspiring and informative story: https://goo.gl/QReu69 

Fortunately, this is a ray of hope for cannabis law reform in TN.   As you'll 
read, Brandon has been able to safely and legally possess the oil he has 
desperately sought, now that the TN General Assembly passed a law allowing it.  
This is just the first baby step in what is truly needed for the citizens of 
Tennessee.

Medical Marijuana Endorsement

Vivek Murthy
Dr. Vivek Murthy, center, is the latest government official to endorse the medical qualities of marijuana. [Reuters]

U.S. Surgeon General: ‘Marijuana Can Be Helpful’

 The campaign to validate the medicinal qualities of marijuana got its latest endorsement Wednesday morning from the top U.S. medical authority, who said “marijuana can be helpful” for treating certain conditions and symptoms. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy made those and related comments during an appearance on CBS News, although he primarily was discussing the debate surrounding vaccinations for measles.

When asked toward the end of the interview about his personal feelings regarding the legalization of marijuana, Murthy cited “some preliminary data … for some medical conditions and symptoms” before declaring that “marijuana can be helpful.” His comments only underscore the U.S. government’s apparent inconsistency on the topic of medical marijuana despite the Department of Justice’sannouncement in 2013 that it would not challenge state marijuana laws governing medical usage. On Tuesday, on the other hand, federal lawyers were in court in hopes of closing a medical marijuana operation in Oakland, California.

Murthy joins a growing chorus of government officials who say marijuana has medicinal qualities and can be therapeutically effective in certain instances. Currently 23 states and Washington, D.C., have made legalized medical marijuana in some form or other. Despite having been legalized in Colorado and Washington state for recreational purposes, at the federal level, marijuana remains a Schedule I drug – a classification that groups it along with heroin and deems it in part as having “no currently accepted medical uses.”

Murthy seems to take issue with that designation. “My position is that we have to see what the science tells us about the efficacy of marijuana,“ he said, before hinting that marijuana laws may need to be reformed. “So I think that we have to use that data to drive policymaking, and I’m very interested to see where that data takes us.”

A former Harvard University professor, the 37-year-old Murthy became the youngest person to serve as U.S. surgeon general after first being nominated in November 2013 for the position by President Barack Obama. The physician, who was born in England to parents of Indian descent, was eventually confirmed for the position late last year.

Source: International Business Times http://goo.gl/vgBKE7

25 percent fewer opioid-related deaths in states allowing medical marijuana

SCIENCE DAILY reports on a study published in the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association Internal Medicine, which says that states with legal medical marijuana have 25 percent fewer opioid-related deaths.  Why is this significant?  There has been a steady rise in prescription drug abuse in Tennessee for the past decade.  This fact has been well-documented.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24589873  Educating the public, plus reform of cannabis laws, will go a long way toward reversing this trend.

Here is a summary of the report: “On average, states allowing the medical use of marijuana have lower rates of deaths resulting from opioid analgesic overdoses than states without such laws. Opioid analgesics, such as OxyContin, Percocet and Vicodin, are prescribed for moderate to severe pain, and work by suppressing a person’s perception of pain.”

opioid 1

Greene Family At Center Of Push For Medical Marijuana

This is the powerful story of a Greene County family seeking a state waiver that would protect them from prosecution should they seek a medicine derived from cannabis for their child.

“There is absolutely no side effects with the cannibis oil. And she would not get high from this,” Mathes said.  “But here we are now doping her up with prescription medications that have major side effects,” she said.  “We don’t want to go to Colorado (to live), but we have to take care of our daughter,” she said.

Read the whole story here: http://goo.gl/FFYnO9Greene family